Thefts are so bad in one city that a major retailer decided to take some pretty drastic measures

Public domain aerial photograph from Picryl

Crime is getting so bad in America that it’s starting to infiltrate everywhere from major cities to small towns.

Shoplifting is reaching epidemic proportions and has gotten so bad that some retailers are closing up shop.

Now the level of thefts is so bad in one city that a major retailer decided to take some pretty drastic measures.

CVS adds photos of toilet paper to shelves

Crime in Washington, D.C. is reaching record levels, with reports of robbery up by 68% in 2023 compared to the year prior.

Over 3,000 robberies have occurred so far in 2023 while there were 1,791 at this same time in 2022, according to Metropolitan Police Department Data.

One CVS store in the nation’s capital is no longer making toilet paper accessible on its shelves due to rising theft.

Instead, the store now has framed photographs of toilet paper packaging on shelves along with a sign asking patrons to push a button to get assistance from a store associate.

Employees must now go get the toilet paper from the store’s backroom.

The CVS on H Street NE in Washington, D.C. decided to take drastic measures because of the number of homeless people who were coming in and stealing the products.

A customer named Ben Atanga said that the theft of many basic necessities is becoming a problem nationwide.

“First, I want to say this: this is not just an H street or a D.C. problem – this is something that’s going on all over the country, right? The economy is going up, cost of living is going up…if people are stealing…items, necessities, you know, I think maybe we should take a look at that,” said Atanga.

He also suggested that perhaps the community could provide such necessities to those in need.

“H Street has always had a huge homeless population,” he said.

The photos of the pictures of toilet paper came from an Instagram account called Washingtonian Problems. 

But retail theft isn’t just isolated to one drug store in Washington, D.C.

A national issue

Many retail stores across the country are experiencing a major surge in thefts.

The crimes are prompting many stores to either lock up specific products or shut their doors completely.

New York City is dealing with the highest increase in thefts in recent years, seeing a 64% increase in reported retail thefts between mid-2022 and June of 2023.

The data comes from the Council on Criminal Justice, which also found that the city of Los Angeles saw a 61% increase in retail thefts over the same period.

The NYPD said there were over 93,000 incidents of petty larceny so far in 2023, which is 29% more than the same period just two years ago.

But Los Angeles still has the highest increase in the nation, seeing a 109% increase in reported retail theft incidents in the first six months of 2023 alone.

For now, it looks like many retailers will either have to close entirely or resort to putting framed pictures of their products on shelves to keep from going bankrupt.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.